Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Michigan Gives More Power to Steal from Foster Kids

Michigan Gives More Power to Steal from Foster Kids

So many questions.  So little time left in this Legislative session.

Here you have an honorable Michigan House Bill which, I guess, is an attempt to address foster children being victims of identity theft.

Great, but the real issue is:
Caseworkers guarding SS#'s of foster children

Q:   "Who has access to foster children's Social Security Numbers?"

A:   Caseworkers.

Allow me to clear the air before further examination.

This Bill gives the power and authority to Caseworkers to do annual credit checks on a child's credit history.

Mind you, the Bill has no referral mechanism to the Office of Attorney General to investigate how the foster child's information was breached nor is there any mandate to prosecute.

No training requirements specified for the caseworkers or child placing agencies have been even slightly mentioned.

Identity theft is a federal crime.  Considering the fact that foster care is a federally funded program, one would think there would be some form of collaboration with federal authorities to, at least, intervene and assist in the prosecution, and in certain circumstances, recovery.

There is not even a whisper about generating an exclusionary database to revoke licenses, sanctions, prosecution or recovery, for individuals who engage in fraud against these foster youth.

So now, within this Bill, there will be annual credit reports, which will be billed to some unidentified funding source, which more than likely be Medicaid, to generate stock piles of more documentation to be lost in the paperwork shuffle of a foster care case, with multiple individuals having undocumented access to the files,

There is no mention of Michigan Children's Institute and its role as the sole, legal guardian for more than 3,000 in its care.

So why is it that there was the need to even introduce a Bill such as this?  Is foster care identity theft that rampant where there is such a need for intervention?

If child welfare was not such a secret operation, there could be much more collaboration and reduction in numbers of children who are in state care.

Foster care Social Security Numbers can be used in more ways than with credit to commit fraud.

Watch this video to find out Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare and why Michigan is letting the  "fox guard the hen house":

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: Michigan Gives More Power to Steal from Foster Kids http://beverlytran.blogspot.com/2015/09/michigan-gives-more-power-to-steal-from.html#ixzz3nAeiGj5D
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Michigan Prepares to Launch God's Economic Model to End Child Poverty

Yes, Bill Johnson has slithered to another secret division of DHS. Johnson has abdicated to his trusty side-kick, Bruce Hoffman, who has taken over the throne of omnipotence.

I am guessing, as I really do not feel like finding out where he went at this particular moment, that he is doing something with child welfare contracts.

Now, how did I come to this conclusion?

Well, the Madame Maura Corrigan has stepped down as DHS Director after successfully running a game on the federal court monitor that "all is well" in Michigan child welfare.

All is not well, not even close because it seems the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has picked Michigan, under the Madame's leadership, to launch a pilot model for privatizing the entire system of child welfare, or more specifically, foster care. The pilot city is Grand Rapids and it has a long, nasty, sordid history of snatching kids via bible thumping.

When I say "bible-thumping" I specifically mean the christian child placing agencies which are all Michigan non-profit corporations.

Michigan Legislature just seriously attempted to slam a Bill down the throats of the people under the guise of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).  This Bill, mirrored from its namesake federal Act, was originally used as the backbone for the Michigan Parental Rights Resolution which was introduced for an Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  I worked on the construction of the Bill.
The RFRA federal case was centered on a Child Protective Service case of parents using certain plants with hallucinogenic properties in their traditional, indigenous religious ceremonies.  Parenting was transmogrified into a religious belief overnight. 

The Tea Party began to take roots as a family economic movement and I was there to witness.  It was built off the desperation of parents who had their children legally kidnapped.  These families became powerful catalysts for the extreme right wing to, predatorially, push through their "christian" subversive agendas.  Look who launched the Tea Party on "God's economy" (Michele Bachmann's reference to children @ 4:30):

As few may not know, it takes 3/5ths of the States 7 years to have a referendum to amend the Constitution.  The Parental Rights Amendment did not survive but RFRA did.

RFRA will take the same course as the Parental Rights Amendment, mark my word.  Also mark my words when I say that it just might steam roll the national level and become an Amendment as there are a series of states which have already signed on.

RFRA is not alone in its ride to becoming an Amendment.  The Hobby Lobby decision opened the flood gates for legal challenges to "religious freedom" as corporations, legal persons, now have recognized religious beliefs.

Michigan has introduced, sine die, major changes to its Non-Profit Corporation Law.  From a quick overview, I see it is now easier for a not-for-profit to set up and transfer to a for-profit.

This got me thinking that timing of the shift in Michigan child welfare leadership is not a coincidence. 

Michigan spends $1B on charter schools but fails to hold them accountable

Medicaid Expansion + RFRA + Non-Profit Corporation changes +Privatization = Corporate $$$

Charter schools do not provide special needs education but child welfare does and the money comes from Medicaid.  The federal A+PLUS Act would give direct access to CPS in viewing school records, with no oversight, to generate more child welfare cases by providing special needs services.

Every corporation is about to hire a child and no one will stop this from being a nationally diffusable model.

As of this writing, the Michigan Bureau of Adult and Children Licensing no longer has oversight of Grand Rapid child placing agencies.  Actually, no one has oversight as the pilot program of privitization has been launched.  The only way to file a complaint/grievance is through the state court because, remember, a corporation is a person, too, but soon with protected religious beliefs and the ability to dissolve at the drop of a hat to a for-profit.

Children under the auspices of the state (ie. foster care, residential institutions, juvenile justice, court child welfare cases) are not calculated in the national child poverty numbers.

This is God's economic model to reduce child poverty.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

After 8 years Michigan has not addressed racial inequities in foster care

Well, here we go again.

Michigan is up to its old tricks by coming out with a report to cover up all the billing fraud, ineptness of administrative oversight and what they call "racial inequity" in foster care.

With just about all of the same who worked on, and were suppose to get it right, they come together again, with shock and awe renewed, on the exact same crap they came out with 8 years ago.

For your viewing pleasure, I submit the first report on "racial inequity" in foster care from 2006.

Now, one would think that 8 years later they would have ameliorated, or at least, made an effort to address the issue of the overrepresentation of children of color in child welfare, but of course not, that would be too much like admitting they have no idea how to execute the recommendations made in the report.

The recommendations of the 2006 report was to find more money to fix the problem, which was, unmentioned in the report, that it was just hit with a salaciously horrific state audit of fraud.

Here is the result of "wow-we-did-not-know-this-was-a-problem" report findings:

It should be noted that not one original parent, not one foster kid who survived, participated in this report.

Nothing in the findings identified the extreme-reaching "one-drop-rule" labeling technique when sticking a kid, or parents, in a racial category.

Too bad the state will not, or cannot, investigate agencies like Black Family Development to find out why so many Black kids are in the system.

By the way, what exactly is "Black Family Development", as opposed to, obviously,  I assume there must be the counterpart called "White Family Development"?

The reason wht there are racial inequities in foster care is because the system was designed that way.

At least the report did recommend steering away from using poverty as a reason to put kids in the system.

Learn more: BEVERLY TRAN: After 8 years Michigan has not addressed racial inequities in foster care http://beverlytran.blogspot.com/2014/05/after-8-years-michigan-has-not.html#ixzz333fTTPrL
Stop Medicaid Fraud in Child Welfare 

Don't Beat Your Foster Parents - Baby LK Report For May 25th 2014

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Report finds racial disparity in Michigan's foster care system

Here is a fun fact as to why the report found racial disparity in Michigan's foster care system:

It was designed that way!

Just ask Bill Johnson, Superintendent of the Michigan Children's Institute.

Report’s Findings

Key findings from a report from the Michigan Race Equity Coalition in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice:
• Minority kids were 2.1 times more likely to age out of foster care than white children. Hispanic kids were 1.1 times more likely, American Indian 1.4 times more likely, and black children 2.3 times more likely to age out of the system.
• Black children were 1.6 times more likely than white children to live in families investigated for abuse or neglect.
• Children from minority families were 1.3 times more likely than white kids to be removed from their families’ homes due to abuse and neglect.

Michigan’s minority children are more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to age out of the foster care system without being adopted or returned to their families, a new report shows.

Children of color also are more likely to be removed from their families for abuse and neglect, according to the report from the Michigan Race Equity Coalition in Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice, to be released today.

“This gives us verifiable data that policymakers, legislators really like,” said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly, who co-chaired the coalition effort with public policy advocate and former legislator Lynn Jondahl. “That is really what moves decision-makers faster.”

Those behind the report hope it will help improve early intervention and community-based services for families, win more funding for child abuse and neglect prevention and lead to better training for child welfare workers to help them discern the difference between poverty and neglect.

About 13,000 kids in Michigan are in foster care at any given time, according to the Department of Human Services. Using data from 2013, the coalition’s report compares the number of minority children with the number of white children in care. It found:

•Minority kids were 2.1 times more likely to age out of foster care than white children. Hispanic kids were 1.1 times more likely, American Indian 1.4 times more likely and black children 2.3 times more likely to age out of the system.

•Black children were 1.6 times more likely than white children to live with families investigated for abuse or neglect. Kids from Hispanic or American Indian families were slightly less likely than their white counterparts to live in families investigated for abuse or neglect.

•Children from minority families were 1.3 times more likely than white kids to be removed from their families’ homes due to abuse and neglect.

That’s troubling, said Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Public Policy. She served as data coordinator for the project.

“That suggests we are not doing enough upstream to get these kids safe or keep these kids safe in their own homes,” she said.

“A lot of these kids get pulled into the child welfare system because that’s our response rather than helping their families with economic stability,” she said.

She said erosion in assistance for poor families and school funding in recent years has made the situation more precarious for many families.

“People are really struggling to maintain any kind of stability for their kids,” she said. “It used to be that schools were the bedrock in the community. That’s not the case anymore, particularly in our most desperately poor cities.”

Kelly said she’s encouraged by some recent changes, including a 2011 law that allows foster kids who meet certain criteria such as working or attending college to receive continuing assistance until they are 21.

The state also has boosted the number of foster care caseworkers.

Jondahl said a pilot program in Saginaw County involving courts, child welfare and juvenile justice systems provides a model for reducing the disproportionate numbers.

He also said an advisory panel will be created, meeting regularly, to check on progress in meeting the recommendations in the report.

“It won’t be just a report to put on the shelf,” he said. “That, to me, makes all the difference in the world.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Court To Rule On Powers Of Michigan Children's Institute

Here is the federal settlement agreement with Michigan to advocate relative placements. In this case, it was not done.

It seems all eyes are on this pending decision.  As soon as the opinion is issued, I will post.

For more background details of the case, click here.

The paternal grandmother of siblings who were placed in foster care petitioned the family court to become the children’s guardian. Although the grandmother had moved to Florida from Michigan in 2005, she asserted that she had maintained “very close and loving” relationships with all four children before and after their removal from their mother’s home in October 2008 by the Department of Human Services. (Three of the four siblings were fathered by the petitioner’s son; although the fourth child was fathered by another man, the petitioner maintained that she had known the boy since his birth and had always treated him as her grandson.) According to the grandmother, she frequently watched the children before moving to Florida; after her move, she talked to them on the phone about once a week, sent them birthday and Christmas presents, and visited them during the summers.

While the grandmother’s guardianship petition was pending, the children’s mother agreed to give up her parental rights, pleading no contest to child neglect and allowing her children to become wards of the court. (The fathers’ parental rights were also terminated.)

The family court accepted the mother’s plea and, after an evidentiary hearing, denied the grandmother’s guardianship petition, instead ruling that it was in the children’s best interests to remain with their foster parents, who had already filed a petition to adopt the children. In making this ruling, the trial court used the “best interest” factors in the Child Custody Act, MCL 722.21 et seq. The trial court noted that neither the children’s mother nor the petitioner’s son had suggested the petitioner as a guardian; in fact, the mother supported the children remaining with their foster parents because they were doing well there.

The petitioner applied to the Michigan Children’s Institute, seeking to adopt the children. The MCI superintendent denied her request, concluding that adoption by the foster parents was in the children’s best interests; the family court refused to overturn the MCI decision.

The petitioner appealed, and, in an unpublished per curiam opinion, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the family court, ordering the court to appoint the petitioner as the children’s guardian.

“There is a strong preference that children who have been removed from their parent’s care be placed with relatives,” the appellate panel stated. “For example, under MCL 722.954a(2), when a child is removed from his or her home, the supervising agency must identify, locate, notify, and consult with relatives to determine placement with a fit and appropriate relative who is able to meet the child’s developmental, emotional, and physical needs. A supervising agency’s placement decision must be made in the child’s best interests, and, in making the decision, the supervising agency shall give special consideration and preference to a child’s relatives who are willing and fit to care for the child and are able to meet the child’s needs. MCL 722.954a(5).” 

The petitioner claimed that the trial court erred in comparing her to the children’s foster parents, using the “best interest of the child” factors set out in the Child Custody Act. The Court of Appeals agreed: “[T]he trial court erred in making this comparison. Notably, the present case does not present a dispute between parties who have a legal or substantive right to the custody of the minor children. Because a juvenile guardianship is intended to be a permanent and self-sustaining relationship, MCL 722.875b, it is similar to adoption. When a person seeks the adoption of a child, a trial court generally does not compare the prospective adoptive parent with alternate placements for the child.... Here, where appellant is the grandmother of the children and where appellant has an established and continuing relationship with the minor children, the trial court should have considered whether appellant was an appropriate juvenile guardian for the children without regard to the foster care parents.”

The “undisputed facts” in the record support appointing the petitioner as the children’s guardian, the Court of Appeals stated. The petitioner had no health problems, had raised five sons, was employed as a registered nurse, had become a licensed foster care provider, and bought a five-bedroom home in anticipation of becoming the children’s guardian, the panel noted. The petitioner was not married, but had relatives in Florida, and had visited the school that her grandchildren would attend. “In sum, appellant not only quickly fulfilled every DHS requirement, she went significantly above and beyond any legal requirements to ensure she would be well prepared to care for her grandchildren.”

Neither the prosecutor nor the children’s guardian ad litem disputed that the petitioner would be an appropriate guardian, the Court of Appeals observed. “Nonetheless, they inexplicably both requested that appellant’s guardianship petition be denied because the children had found stability with the foster care parents.” But, while the children had enjoyed a stable home with their foster parents, DHS had helped create that situation by failing to consider the grandmother as a placement, the Court of Appeals said. “This type of ‘bootstrapping’ is clearly an inappropriate basis upon which to decide this type of matter, i.e., to justify the ‘best interests’ of the children.”

DHS argued that the any issues about the guardianship were moot because the children had already been committed to MCI and so already had a guardian, but the Court of Appeals disagreed. “[W]e find nothing in [previous Court of Appeals decisions] that prevents this Court from revoking the commitment of a child to the MCI when it reverses an erroneously entered order from the trial court that led to the child’s commitment.”

The Court of Appeals declined to review MCI’s denial of the petitioner’s request to adopt, saying the issue was moot: “[S]ince the minor children are no longer wards of the MCI following this court’s decision, appellant need not procure the consent of the MCI superintendant [sic] to adopt the children.” Moreover, the petitioner had already stated that she would dismiss her adoption petition if her guardianship petition was granted, the appellate panel noted.

DHS appealed, noting in part that even the petitioner’s son did not recommend her as a placement and that the children’s mother supported them remaining with their foster parents, rather than moving out of state. DHS also disputed some of the petitioner’s claims about her involvement with the children.

In an order dated October 2, 2013, the Supreme Court granted leave to appeal and also granted the Michigan Children’s Institute’s motion to intervene. The Court directed the parties to address “(1) whether the Court of Appeals erred in holding that there is a preference for relatives under MCL 712A.19c(2) when a circuit court decides whether to create a juvenile guardianship after parental rights have been terminated; (2) if such a preference exists, whether the paternal grandmother was entitled to that preference where her son’s parental rights to the children had been terminated; (3) whether the Court of Appeals erred by not applying a clear error standard of review to the Muskegon Circuit Court Family Division’s determination of the children’s best interests pursuant to MCL 712A.19c; (4) whether the circuit court erred by using the best interests factors enumerated in MCL 722.23 of the Child Custody Act in deciding whether to grant the petition for a juvenile guardianship; and (5) whether the Court of Appeals erred by reversing the circuit court on the ground that it was improper to compare the foster parents with the proposed guardian, or erred on any other basis.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Court revokes Michigan Children's Institute guardianship

Bill Johnson, Superintendent of MCI
Bill Johnson, Superintendent of the infamous Michigan Children's Institute, has filed an appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court because the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that the paternal grandmother of four children was granted guardianship as his guardianship was revoked.

I do believe this is the first time the Court has revoked the legal powers of MCI.

Out of respect of the people involved, I will not publish the MCI appeal at this time, but I will be using a few choice demonstratives when commenting on the legal arguments.

Daniel Beaton, the Assistant Attorney General who always represents Bill Johnson, is a rather nice man but can lie his ass off in a courtroom.  He is good.  That is why Bill Johnson always wins.  But this time is a different story.

The grandmother applied to for adoption and was denied but applied for legal guardianship and was approved upon appeal.  Brilliant.

Bill Johnson went to the Court of Appeals and was thrown out.

Now, he goes to his buddy Maura Corrigan's (former Chief Justice of Michigan Supreme Court and current Director of Department of Human Services) old stomping grounds, the Michigan Supreme Court to cry the blues about the beginning of the end of his omnipotent reign.

Bill Johnson wants to cry the blues that he was not party to the case and had his guardianship stripped.

First of all, the state was just released from federal monitoring of relative preference placements, so Bill is violating a federal settlement agreement.  

Second, there is no law which states that a person who has guardianship must adopt.

Third, Bill Johnson completely ignored the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.  He overrode the decision of another state governor.

Bill Johnson is the legal guardian for more than 7,000 children.  How can he possibly know what the best interests of the children are without third party knowledge?  

Michigan Children's Institute is a 3 man circus that is an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars.  It is about time judges of Michigan's bench and start making decisions.  Let the people who actually care for kids be the guardians and tell Bill to go far away.

Bill Johnson is one of the last paleo-conservatives of chattel law.  I expect him to be denied his petition for leave to appeal.